Discounted Awards to Tahiti, and Half Off Business Class to Europe!

Air France KLM’s Flying Blue program should be interesting to U.S. frequent flyers for several reasons.

  1. They offer one-way awards, which Delta won’t have until next year.
  2. They are an American Express Membership Rewards and a Citi Thank You points transfer partner.
  3. They have access to award space that Delta won’t let you have.
  4. They have most of their partners available for online booking

Unfortunately their call centers are frustrating, their website can be too (and has been known to show ‘phantom’ award availability, seats that look available but aren’t really here to book).

And they add fuel surcharges onto award tickets.

One of the great values, historically, has been their ‘promo awards’.

Award tickets discounted as much as half the cost of their regular award chart can be a great value, for a relatively short booking window and for travel between specific cities and Europe. (For instance, travel from a featured U.S. city through Paris on Air France or Amsterdam on KLM to anywhere in Europe half the usual miles.)

A few things have made these awards less valuable than they used to be, though.

  1. The award chart got more expensive. So half off is still more miles than before.
  2. Promo awards aren’t even always half off anymore, they’re frequently now 25% off. Raise prices, then discount them a little bit, and you’re really looking at ‘regular price’ (at least what regular price was 15 months ago).
  3. Promo awards tend to be available for fewer destinations, at least for business class.

Indeed, the new promo awards list is out for November bookings and travel in January and February, and these become bookable tomorrow (Saturday). Here are the North America-Europe options.

  • 25% off Montreal – Europe in business class on KLM
  • 50% off Chicago – Europe in business class on KLM
  • 25% off Toronto – Europe in business class on Air France
  • 50% off Houston – Europe in economy on both Air France and KLM
  • 50% off New York – Europe in economy on both Air France and KLM
  • 50% off Washington Dulles – Europe in economy on KLM
  • 25% off Los Angeles – Europe in economy on Air France
  • 25% off Washington Dulles – Europe in economy on KLM

  • 50% off Miami – Madrid (suggesting perhaps not possible to connect beyond Madrid) in both economy and business class on Air Europa

    Two other interesting things of note in this round of promo awards:

    1. Tahiti is on sale, too. They’re offering 25% off Tahiti in economy on Air France, so just 30,000 miles each way.
    2. Kenya Airways is included. I don’t remember seeing that before. They’re offering discounts between Nairobi and Guangzhou, Bangkok, and Dubai.

  • About Gary Leff

    Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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    1. ORD to Europe in J at 31,250 miles is pretty sweet. But that’s Jan and Feb (brrrr). I doubt they ever do anything like this in Summer, but what about Spring and Fall?

    2. two questions:
      a) are these prices valid for one-way awards?
      2) are they valid for trips originating in Europe?


    3. Robert – they do these every month (or at least they have historically). November awards are for travel in January and February. December awards are for travel in February and March, etc.

    4. RT economy for two random dates from JFK to AMS in January on KLM – $1,139. Of that, YR (fuel surcharge) shows as $516, so I’m assuming that’s what you pay on the award ticket. So you’re saving a little over $500, but still paying $500+, and you’re not earning any miles for the flight.

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